Sleepless Night (2012)
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Critic Reviews for Sleepless Night
The plot is clever yet breathtakingly simple, the action is relentless but logical, and the lead role is tailor-made for Hollywood's A-list action stars.
The story is loaded with implausibilities, but it moves so quickly you won't have long to dwell on them, and there are a number of neatly executed reversals.
It's fast, lean, satisfying, and forgettable; nothing special, really, until you realize that the movies have largely lost the knack for brisk mayhem like this.
The sort of stripped-down, Francophone picture that's been spoiling American action fans over the last few years. There are no Cuisinarted fight scenes, no pauses for awkward romantic subplots.
Charging from one beating to another, wrenching diminishing returns from drunken camera angles and cat-and-mouse games, Mr. Jardin makes Vincent's predicament as hollow as a sustained scream.
Audience Reviews for Sleepless Night
Marciano: Is that all?
Vincent: The rest is in a safe place.
Remember what happened to action movies after Die Hard came out? A lot of action films were made that basically amounted to things like "It's Die Hard on a boat" or "It's Die Hard on a train" to varied levels of success, but one thing was for sure, Die Hard changed how a lot of people and studios wanted to make action films. That has somewhat subsided in favor of other types of action cinema, ranging from the slow-mo escapades of John Woo-like films to the bombastic extravaganzas of Michael Bay features, or the shakiness inspired by Paul Greengrass's work on the Bourne series. Sleepless Night is a French thriller that feels like a call back to the Die Hard days, placing an ordinary man in incredibly tense, violent, and stressful situations within a nightclub. It is well made from an impressively complex level rather than a stylish one and features action bits that feel very natural. Some minor plot flaws aside, the film is solid.
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"Sleepless Night" starts with Vincent(Tomer Sisley) and Manuel(Laurent Stocker) robbing an illegal drug shipment. Since one of the victims brought a knife to a gun fight, things do not go perfectly as Vincent is stabbed and there is one dead. That is now one crime that Vincent and Manuel have to investigate in their day job as police detectives. Oh, and Jose Marciano(Serge Riaboukine) would very much like his drugs back, if it is not too much trouble, as he has Vincent's son Thomas(Samy Seghir). The exchange would have gone well if Vignali(Lizzie Brochere), an internal affairs detective, had not been trailing him and moved the drugs from its hiding spot. She reports all of this to Lacombe(Julien Boisselier), her supervisor, who is in cahoots with Manuel.
"Sleepless Night" proves that all you need for a well-crafted lean and mean crime thriller is some drugs, guns and one cool location, plus maybe a sense of humor. Of course, you have to keep the plates spinning non-stop which this movie does with a great deal of skill. Plus, it helps that all the depserate characters each have their specific motivations. However, there is a twist half way through the movie that takes some of the edge off but nobody's perfect. And by the end, I realized that for a movie involving a kidnapped child, this movie is surprisingly not mawkish in also being about a father's love for his son.
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